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Bits & Bytes Farm - Thoroughbred horses for sale

If you are in the market for a Thoroughbred to become your next competition partner, visit the Bits & Bytes Farm Facebook page and our Web site to find your next horse.

Give us a call if you see a horse you like.

Elizabeth Wood
Bits & Bytes Farm
770-704-6595

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Training OTTBs – Phil’s Courage’s Journal – From Ex-Race Horse to Sport Horse

Insights to Retraining Thoroughbred Race Horses

Phil’s Courage was purchased as a Prospect Horse from the Bits & Bytes Farm Web site in 2007.

His first owner off-the-track was Christa Mooney of Charlotte, NC. Unfortunately, Christa had a family health issue and a lack of time to continue “Phil’s” off-the-track training. Christa loved Phil’s Courage very much and she did a good job of letting him down and getting him started as a sport horse. As time went on Christa had less and less time to work with Phil’s Courage and he started taking control.

He was fortunately purchased by Kara who has the experience to unschool some of the bad habits that “Phil” had picked up in his leisure time while Christa was busy caring for her son. I have asked Kara to give us a Journal of Phil’s Courage’s training. She uses common techniques promoted by most “Natural Horseman” trainers. It is our hope that our reader’s will see how these techniques work to make your horse respect you on the ground and when mounted. It is important to have patience and not rush through the process. Kara explains what she is doing and more importantly why. You can follow along and see the results. Enjoy and learn! Start at Ground Training – Day 1 Phil’s Courage and choose the next story from the menu on the right.

Elizabeth Wood
Bits & Bytes Farm

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Day 16 – Phil’s Courage’s Journal

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If you drop the rope you have now taught your horse that if he struggles he will be released. The purpose of the exercise is to teach your horse that if he gets a leg caught he is to stand still and he will be released. I am sure everyone knows of at least one story where a horse got caught in wire, fence, underbrush, etc. and severely damaged muscle, tendons, or ligaments because he fought to free himself. Again, I repeated lifting his leg and released as soon as he relaxed. This was repeated on all legs.

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Help! My Horse is Rearing.

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Rearing under saddle is an unpleasant reaction. In its extreme form, flipping over, this action can be life threatening. Understand, it is a reaction usually caused by rider error.

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Riding Your Off-the-Track Thoroughbred for the First Time

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Many new buyers of off-the-track Thoroughbreds are worried about what their first ride will be like. At Bits & Bytes Farm we have been getting Thoroughbreds off-the-track for many years now. We always take a safe yet relaxed approach to the first ride. Here are a few important things to remember . . . This…

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Phils Courage at the track

Training OTTBs – Phil’s Courage’s Journal – From Ex-Race Horse to Sport Horse

Posted in

I have asked Kara to give us a Journal of Phil’s Courage’s training. She uses what techniques promoted by most “Natural Horseman” trainers. It is our hope that our reader’s will see how these techniques work to make your horse respect you on the ground and when mounted.

Read More

Day 15 – Phil’s Courage’s Journal

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Morning feeding: no problems.

I vaccinated Phil today. When I vaccinate a horse for the first time I am always prepared to do some ground work, or desensitize the horse to the needle.

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OTTB discussion between trainer and prospective client

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If only this were not so true . . .

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Race Horse vs Homebred Thoroughbred – Which is Easier to Train?

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Thoroughbred race horses have lots of valuable training experience that puts them way ahead of homebreds. Learn more about retraining Thoroughbreds from this video.

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Day 20 – Phil’s Courage’s Journal

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Side note: I use certain words like “NO” or “BACK” to help me raise my energy and change my facial expression, not necessarily to teach Phil to respond to the words. Eventually, he will make the connection between the words and my actions. These words are always said in the same authoritative tone.

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Retraining Thoroughbreds – OTTBs

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These pages are dedicated to retraining off-track-Thoroughbreds (OTTBs) for dressage, eventing, hunter/jumper and pleasure. OTTBs are kind, sensitive animals who want to bond and please their humans.

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